Chocolate Overload Loaded Brownies

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Chocolate Overload Loaded Brownies

I created this Chocolate Overload Brownie recipe just so I could get something off my chest.

Snobbery. I can’t stand it. It comes in all forms. It crosses all facets of life. And it starts early in life. In grade school, who’s wearing the designer sneakers and the $300 jacket and it never ends. As we get older, the topics change but the attitude is still there. I’m better than you because or I look down on you because…

I realized yesterday, there is Food snobbery in the blog world. There was a question in a G+ Hang out for bloggers (I really recommend you watch this if you want to improve your writing skills,) The question was “What are the panelists thought on beautiful photography, beautiful writing but the ingredient lists that read boxed cake mix, candy coating, pie filling, corn nuts, etc?” I realize the person who made this comment meant no offence but I was offended, I was outraged. My feelings were hurt. I lost sleep over this comment.

Here’s a little background about me. I grew up in a single parent home. My mom worked full time. It was the birth of the Microwave and TV dinners were the rage. McDonald’s was just a baby along with all the other fast food joints. Hamburger Helper came along. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Instant this, instant that came on the market. My mom didn’t have time to cook meals that took hours to prepare, nor did she want to, she wasn’t a very good cook. These were the things we ate.

The one thing she did make, and I remember making with her, were her pound cakes. Guess what? They came from a box mix. Duncan Hines to be exact. It was printed on the side panel of every flavor they made. About twice a year, she would go nuts making them, Chocolate, Lemon, Strawberry, Orange. Probably about 20 loaf cakes. Then she’d freeze them and for the next few months we’d have pound cake available.

I still love that pound cake recipe.

Back to present day. Many households are either single parent or both parents work. Kids have more activities after school, we are busier than I ever remember being as a kid. My point is, There is nothing wrong with Boxed mixes! Yes from scratch is healthier, may taste better but not always, may be a little less expensive to make but what is the point of cooking and baking? For me, it’s to have my family all around the table at dinner time, spending time together, enjoying each other, catching up on each other’s day. With teenagers, some days, it’s the only time you see them. My family doesn’t care if I make a cake from a box mix or if I double sifted the cake flour and hand grated the chocolate. They appreciate the cake after the meal with a tall glass of milk. And they appreciate that I MADE the cake and didn’t pick it up at the bakery at Walmart.

I can (and do) bake from scratch. Have you seen my Chocolate Babka or my Petit Fours?  But I’m also not afraid to use a box mix or cereal, Nestle Chocolate chips instead of Ghirardelli, Hershey’s Cocoa instead of a Dutch Processed Cocoa. Never be ashamed of the ingredients you use when cooking. Take pride that you got in the kitchen and got a few pans dirty. That’s what your family will remember.

So in honor of Box mixes and to thumb my nose at all the Food Snobs out there I’ve made these Brownies for you. No one even asked if they were made from scratch. They just asked for seconds.

Chocolate Overload Loaded Brownies

Chocolate Overload Loaded Brownies

Chocolate Overload Loaded Brownies


  • 1 box Brownie Mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • ingredients called for on box
  • 1-2 cups chocolate candy-I used Snickers, Milky Ways and Hershey's Kisses
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Fudge Sauce for Ice cream
  • Canned Chocolate Frosting (optional)


  1. Preheat oven according to box directions. Grease bottom of your brownie pan (size will depend on your mix) I also like to line my pan with parchment paper.
  2. Chop all candy into chunks. Prepare brownie mix according to box directions (I like fudgy.) Fold in chopped candy.
  3. Spread as evenly into prepared pan as you can. Lightly warm fudge sauce. Using about 4-5 spoonfuls, drizzle across the top.
  4. Use a toothpick or knife blade to swirl the fudge sauce into brownies but do not mix in. Bake according to box directions but I had to add about 5 minutes to my time.
  5. Let cool completely before cutting and removing from pan. For added decadence, place about 1/2 cup frosting in sauce pan and heat just until frosting melts. Drizzle over brownies.

Chocolate Overload Loaded Brownies
Looking for more great shortcut treats to make for your hungry family? These are just a “few” ideas from some of my friends
Cheesecake Ice Cream from Say Not Sweet Anne
Carrot Pumpkin Bundt Cake from Frugal Foodie Mama
Almond Joy Puppy Chow from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Banana Reeses Cookies from Inside Brucrew
Cookies and Cream Funfetti Cookies Cookies from What’s Cooking, Love?
Chocolate Dump Cake from Buns in my Oven
Valentine’s Day Cakies from Couponing and Cooking
Cherry Almond Cupcakes from Shugary Sweets
White Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispie Treats from The Kitchen is my Playground
Apple Pie Cupcakes from The Melrose Family
Peanut Butter Glazed Brownies from Mom’s Test Kitchen
Fully Loaded Hot Fudge Bars from Back for Seconds
Best Bundt Cake from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
Chocolate Covered Cherry Coke Cake from Frugal Foodie Mama
Rainbow Cupcakes from Wine and Glue
Simple Toffee Cookies from Organized Island
Butterfinger Whoopie Pies from Inside Brucrew
Blueberry Cheesecake Danish from Inside Brucrew
Butterscotch Role Chex Bars from Sweet Twist of Blogging
Dried Fruit and Cereal Bars from Pint Sized Baker
PB&J Cocoa Bars from Back for Seconds
Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Pie from Frugal Foodie Mama
Buckeye Cookie Bites from Lemons for Lulu
White Chocolate Walnut Pumpkin Bars from What’s Cooking, Love?
Snickerdoodle Candy Cups from Couponing and Cooking
Skinny Cupcakes from Cooking to Perfection
Cream Cheese Brownie Cupcakes from The Pink Flour
Cheesecake Nutella Twists from Inside Brucrew
Caramel Milky Way Cookies from What’s Cooking, Love?
No Bake S’mores Bars from Little Kitchen Big Flavors
Ultimate Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes from Couponing and Cooking
Double Chocolate Cake from Just a Sliver
Peanut Butter Smores Bars from Back for Seconds
Coffee Lovers Cookies from Food Babbles
Butterfinger Cake from Couponing and Cooking
Cupcake Muddy Buddies from Back for Seconds
Gooey Bars from Couponing and Cooking
Cherry Topped Brownie Bites from The Kitchen is my Playground
Gooey Triple Chocolate Cake Bars from The Live in Kitchen

I’m sharing at some of these great parties!

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About Joan Hayes

Mom to 3 teens, sweets and travel are her passions. Joan really does love her chocolate. She has a secret stash she hides from the kids and she has at least one bite of something chocolatey every day. She creates easy recipes any skill level can achieve to satisfy the sweet tooth in everyone!


  1. Fabulous post Joan! I think when we bake, we bake because we love someone. And it doesn’t matter if it’s from scratch or with a little help from store bought ingredients. We still thought enough of someone to make them something! Thanks for putting together all these wonderful recipes! I’m going to keep this as a resource! Thanks for sharing my Buckeye Cookie Bites! My family devoured them and they started with a mix!

  2. I lived in Hollnad for 9 yeaars and I could not get box anything (cakes or brownies). Everything had to be made from scratch. Now that I am back in the USA, Duncan Hines is my best friend. I love your posts and pin many of your recepies for future use.

  3. I love this post Joan. It’s SO true. And annoying! 🙂 Love the brownies too, and thanks for the linky love!

  4. I agree with you. It doesn’t matter if it is from scratch or made from a box, it’s still made with love. Not everyone wants to, or has the time to
    bake from scratch.
    To me, I just want to bake for people. As long as they enjoy it, that is all that matters!

  5. Amen, sista!!! If it tastes good, make it! Boxed, scratch, embellished … whatever. Thanks so much for including me in the list, Joan!
    Tracey @ The Kitchen is My Playground

  6. I’m all for chocolate overload! Love these brownies, Joan! 🙂

  7. theresa houghton says:

    I understand that some things are quicker but I guess I belong to the food snob column as I would never feed my family the chemicals that come alone with the box mixes but what you put on your table is your business.

    • I understand your opinion Theresa and I love to bake from scratch as well. I just don’t want anyone to be discouraged from getting into the kitchen and baking. We all start somewhere. Don’t worry, I’ll have some from scratch recipes next week for you!

  8. Amen, amen, amen!! Most of my recipes start with a mix (not all!) and I’m not ashamed of it AT ALL! I hate that stereotype that if you use a mix, you’re not a real cook, baker, etc. Kudos to you for a fantastic post!!

  9. Those look amazing no matter what their ingredients are! Thanks for the shout outs!

  10. Fabulous message and I completely agree with you. I’d much rather spend time with my family enjoying the food than spend 3 hours alone in the kitchen preparing it!

  11. A woman after my own heart! I get overwhelmed sometimes with all the ingredients and honestly sometimes I am bone tired when I get home and the hubs wants something sweet or my mom needs something for her ladies bunco night. I do it because I love them but part of loving them is spending time with them and a box helps me do that. Gee honey, I thought you were The Sugar Superwoman – thanks for letting me know you are normal, I feel much better! xoxoxo

    • Awe Kelli, don’t take away my Superwoman Cape! Sugar comes in so many forms and baking should be about the love and the thought behind what’s made and not what ingredients went into it. Love ya!

  12. Fabulous post Joan. The snobbery is not only in the ingredients but also in the props they use, you know the whole set up. I’m from India and unfortunately I do not get lots of box mixes, except for Betty Crocker. But since they are imported stuff here it costs a lot and making anything from scratch will cost me less than do the same thing with boxed mixes. Food cooked with love for our loved ones is all that matters and anything else is just plain nonsense.

  13. I am with everyone else here! With busy schedules and all we have to do, why NOT start with a cake or baking mix. Those mixes have the same ingredients…it is like using anseasoned salt or making your own right? Thanks for the link love Joan! XO

    • There’s definitely nothing wrong with starting out with a mix. I will say some mixes do have extra chemicals though. I just think there’s room for everyone as long as we’re getting in the kitchen!

  14. Thanks for including me, Joan!

  15. I guess I am a kind of food snob. I love mixes, chemicals and all. But I am not all that crazy about cookies (well, all desserts) that start with a mix and for flavor add extra candies and cookies. Now, that isn’t to say that they aren’t good, just that I don’t like them. I wonder if the fact that I must watch my sugars has anything at all to do with it (probably does).

    • Joan, this doesn’t make you a snob. It’s just your personal preference to enjoy treats with a little less embellishment. Have a wonderful weekend!

  16. If it tastes good and I didn’t have to make it….perfect! Yeah for box mixes!

    Have a good weekend Joan!

  17. Hey, I’m not above using a box mix. The easier the better, right?! This brownie looks fantastic!

  18. Great post! Boo to food snobs & snobs in general 😉

    Thanks for including me in the roundup!

  19. My mom sounds a lot like your mom 🙂

    I hate snobbery too, even though I know I have unintentionally been the bearer of food snobbery before.


  20. More power to the mixes!!! I use mixes most of the time when I bake…mostly because it’s easy…but a lot of times because they taste great! I have no problem pulling out my mixes for whatever I want to make! If that makes some look down on me, oh well! It doesn’t bother me any! Give me more overloaded chocolate bars like this is what I say!!!! I love this post Joan!!!

  21. Well, for what it’s worth, Brian is extremely fond of the Ghirardelli brownie box mix and I have yet to make brownies from scratch that he likes even half as much. 🙂 You do what you do, sister, and don’t take crap from anyone.

  22. Score for you, girl! These rock!
    I am so glad you posted this. It’s not the food snobbery that’s getting to me lately, it’s snobbery about blogging in general. I’ve been reading tutorials and “top 10s” on what I *should* be doing as a blogger. Apparently everything I do is a big fat wrong. I don’t have a fancy pants camera for gorgeous pictures. Worse, I don’t always have access to natural light. I post thumbnail images on Google+ instead of full size. No twitter account or FB page for my blog. Sorry to get carried away–it’s really grating on me! So…I completely understand your frustrations with the snobbery.

    • Michelle, what, you’re not on FB? Or Twitter? You’re life must be so peaceful! I love social media (well, not twitter) but it can overwhelm a person trying to keep up with the “popular” kids. Keep it about the food and how can we go wrong!

  23. I was just craving brownies and these look very decadent and delicious!

  24. Hi Joan!
    I really enjoyed your post – all your food for thought and reading the comments-never a dull moment at Chocolate, Chocolate and More..which is why I like visiting here, besides all the yummy treats you post here;-)
    Recently I visited St. Louis where I was determined to try a slice of ‘gooey butter cake’ but when I asked where was the best place to find it- the overwhelming response was-forget the cake, you have to try the ‘gooey butter cookies’ and the coffee place by our hotel has them fresh every afternoon…so, of course I made it my business to go over there and get one and let me tell you I was not disappointed. Right away, my first bite and I told my husband this tastes like cake mix and I mean in the best possible way;-) When I checked the recipe, which is all over the web, sure enough cake mix is one of the ingredients and being a girl whose mom always baked with cake mixes I will always have a soft spot for the flavor of cake mix especially when one of the other ingredients is cream cheese and don’t forget the butter….
    Just had to share my latest cake mix experience which I guarantee was one of the best I’ve had since the days when we got to lick the bowl/spoon/beaters after mom whipped up a cake made from a mix-it’s really more about the love we share with our families when we bake then anything else!!!!

    • Patty, I love your story, of course now I want one of those cookies! You are so right, it’s the memories we’re making and the love we include with those memories that matter in the end.

  25. Cake box or not, buying ingredients pre-made or not, food is still food. There might be a lot of people out there who don’t understand that. I’m sorry you were offended – perhaps this person was ignorant and hasn’t tasted anything out of a box before. Spreading the word and making delicious recipes like this is a great way to change their mind 🙂 Seriously, those brownies look heavenly. I might have to pick up the ingredients to make these for my husband this week – he has a soft spot for chocolate covered brownies

    • Thanks Rachel, I’m calmed down now, hehe. I just want everyone to be proud when they get in the kitchen and make something. Who cares what the ingredients are.

  26. oh Joan!!! I think I’ve died and gone to heaven !!!

    Natasha @

  27. I completely agree. I am new to the blog scene and after reading a few of these baking blogs I have seen a definite mixture in baking types. I believe that it doesn’t matter what you bake with as long as you bake with love.

    Thank you for this post. I cant wait to try this recipe…it looks GREAT!

    April @

  28. Bye-Bye diet! Hello choclatey goodness! I am a new follower! I found your link on Flamingo Toes. I would love for you to link up to my weekly linky party Fluster Muster on Wednesday’s @

  29. Hear Hear Joan! I am with you on the making my life easier! There are snobs every where and I am sure that I am guilty. But never on was to make a mom’s life easier! Oh and I want some of those brownies! Yum-o! Thanks so much for Linking up at Show Me Your Plaid Monday’s!

  30. You go girl! These look marvelous!

  31. I’m right there with you, I grew up the same way. My mom was the best box cook ever she always made it taste homemade somehow and I thought she was a great cook. Your right the world is full of every type of personality known to man snobs included. As long as it tastes great its all good. I happen to like boxed brownies and cream of chicken or mushroom soup and you know that is a cardinal sin to some people 🙂 great post and please don’t worry you roll out some fabulous recipes on here!!

  32. What a fantastic post! I have no bias to using a cake mix to make something. In fact that was how I grew up too. To this day, I love eating the mix with a bit a water in a bowl – tasty. Smile. Within the blogging world, as long as you are writing from your heart and being authentic to who you are and you are proud of who you are, that is all that matters!! Love your blog and love this recipe!!!! Rock on!

  33. Box baking – everyone grew up with it!!! But it takes a special talent to “modernize” it a bit and make it extraordinary. Love all the treats here! It shows that there’s really nothing wrong with shortcut box baking when you put a little twist to it! In fact, it churns out some very special sweets!

  34. Great post, Joan. I love making things from scratch, but as a full-time working both inside and outside the house mom, sometimes life calls for a box mix. I’m not ashamed to say I use them – and often. No matter how busy our life is, we always make time to sit down together at the table for our meals…that’s the important part!

    Also–drooling over these brownies. Fab pictures, too!

  35. I am so sorry that someones comment hurt your feelings. I am sure you are correct that they did not intend to, but sometimes I don’t think people consider how their words can affect others.
    These are simply delightful, and truthfully having the aid of a pre-made mix, might just mean I could actually try them 🙂

  36. I never understand the food snobs out there. If they never want to use a box mix or a canned good, fine! But why do they have to judge the rest of the world because they do. I read a comment a few months ago that someone criticized a blogger because she didn’t make her ketchup, and she said it was a recipe from scratch! SERIOUSLY?!?!?
    I am in love with these brownies, they look insanely delicious to me!

  37. You’ve been featured on Busy Monday! Hope you will swing by and grab a featured button from the Button Box. Pinned. Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday.

  38. Oh gosh! I need to eat some! YUM!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality! I’m looking forward to seeing what you link up this evening! 🙂

  39. Hey,you know what, Joan? I LOVE using a mix! Sometimes I change it up to make it my own, and sometimes I don’t. I can bake from scratch as well. But you know what? When it comes to cake my kids like the box BETTER! These brownies look awesome! going to have to whip some up for my ‘cheat day’ (trying to eat a bit healthier, but I will ALWAYS have a ‘cheat day’!) Thanks for sharing at Wicked Good Wednesdays!

  40. You are so right, Joan! You know, I love making from scratch, but sometimes I just don’t have the time or energy to do it. Your brownies look absolutely amazing 🙂 Stopping in from Two Cup Tuesday. Pinned to share!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Instead of using the chocolate bars do you think I can use semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and chocolate chunks? My family likes chocolate but not enough to throw different chocolate bars in there. Thank you!

  42. Anonymous says:

    I loved this post! Like you, I bake things from scratch, and also will use cake and brownie mixes. My Mom was a great baker and she baked the same way. You could never tell if her desserts were from a box or not, they were all delicious!One of the first cheesecakes that I ever made was an old Pillsbury recipe that used a marble cake mix for the crust. I took it to a party and I was very proud of it! Someone asked me about the recipe, and when I told her the crust was a cake mix, she acted like I cheated or something. I was in my early 20’s and it never occurred to me that people could be so snotty about a nice dessert! Oh well, it takes all kinds I guess! I can’t wait to try these brownies!

  43. Hey girl! thanks for including me in your roundup. Those brownies look delicious! you know I’m mainly a “from scratch” kind of blogger when it comes to cakes, cookies, cupcakes, brownies…BUT, that’s the wonderful thing about the internet. There’s something for everyone out there! Why people have to be so insulting is beyond me. Great post Joan.

  44. It’s hard for me to imagine someone being snobbish about using off brand (Or even ‘lesser brand’ (ha) ingredients. That’s ridiculous. Often times what’s in the bag is the exact same thing as the more expensive brand.

    On the other hand, I do get disappointed when I see ‘cake mix’ in the recipe and I automatically click away, not because I hate mixes – love them – I just can’t use them. I’m gluten free and read regular recipes anyway because I can always adapt them to my GF needs . . . unless it says mix on it, because I don’t buy GF mixes (way too expensive) and have to make from scratch. I came to this recipe because I actually needed to make brownies today and was hoping I could adapt this recipe to GF, but I can’t, and that’s okay. I’m sure other people will make it and love it. I’ll keep looking. 🙂

  45. Thanks so much for sharing my Cheese Cake Ice Cream with your audience! You are so kind!!

  46. I so agree with you Joan! Sometimes there are better things to spend our time on then baking from scratch! Also, thanks for including my recipe in your round up. Going to pin this so I have all these shortcut recipes handy!

  47. Great post! Thanks for addressing the snobbery. It can be very discouraging at times. I consider myself to be a pretty well-seasoned cook, but I have friends who don’t know the difference between a spoon and a spatula! I can imagine that it may be very intimidating to see some of the “snobbery” around food. I appreciate and relate to your upbringing; I too came from a single parent home where most meals were processed. Still, I look back on the food we ate at that time with a certain fondness. It was the best my mother could do at the time. I cannot WAIT to make these!!!

  48. Great post! I also grew up on a lot of canned food, sauce from a jar and pre-made or store bought desserts. My mother was not a good cook at all, although I didn’t realize it until I was older but I appreciated what she made and liked it. I did not come from a single parent home but my mother always worked either part or full time when I was growing up.
    When I was young I would always say I would make cookies and cake from scratch for my children someday. When my daughter was little she loved to spend time with my mother and bake which always consisted of cupcakes from a box and frosting from a jar. When my daughter was 4 she went to preschool. The parents could sign up to make a snack to bring in. When it was my turn I decided I would make cupcakes and frosting from scratch for the first time. With my daughter helping I spent quite a bit of time getting all the ingredients, mixing them etc., etc. I made the frosting from scratch. I only had a hand mixer at the time which made it a little more tedious. I frosted them and put colorful sprinkles on top of the just as my daughter requested. When I picked her up from school that day I was excited to hear how much she loved them. With a big smile on my face I asked her how they were. Her response, ” I like Grandma’s better.” She is 21 years old now and she still prefers boxed cake mixes with jar frosting. 🙂

  49. Melanie Allison says:

    Way to go Joan! Well, said! I love to bake from scratch, but I love being able to throw something together from “instant” ingredients as well when someone needs their day brightened, or you just need a quick sugar fix! I appreciate both kinds of recipes and all of the time you spend posting all of these lovely recipes for all of us to enjoy. 🙂 I agree, I have never liked the snobbery either, and what some of the food snobs don’t realize is that all of our foods have one kind of chemical or another on them unfortunately. You have to break the bank to buy all non-gmo, antibiotic-free, organic ingredients to make your treats which makes it grossly un-affordable to feed your family well , and even then you can’t be so sure it’s 100% chemical free. You just can’t please some people, ever. Keep up the great work!

  50. Don’t know if you’ll see this….I applaud your comments on snobbery! It’s a universal world-wide ailment and borders on bullying. I try my hardest to be an example for my children and their children of acceptance and tolerance towards all. I feel a little sorry for those with such narrow views. How small their worlds must be…..I am new to your blog but have just subscribed and look forward to sharing future posts. Blessings to you and yours! Kelly

  51. I would like the opportunity to make a comment on this topic – packet mix vs bake from scratch. I love baking and learnt to bake as a child. In my house, my Mother always made everything from scratch. The only shop bought baked items typically came in the form of some kind of chocolate biscuit and they were rare. As a kid, I envied my friends who came to school with shop bought biscuits and cake in their lunch boxes. What I didn’t realize until much later was that they envied ME and my home made goodies and they always made a beeline to the biscuit bottle in the kitchen when they came to my house. Anyways, as an adult, I always make things from scratch and I think my disappointment when I read a recipe that uses some kind of packet mix, is not so much that a packet mix is being used, but as I don’t live in USA (I am an Aussie living in Sweden) said packet mixes are typically unavailable to me (Devils Food Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Brownies, pudding mix etc). I love trying out new recipes and my Swedish friends call me the ‘baking queen’ because of all the goodies I make that are so different from anything they normally eat here, but my excitement at finding a new recipe to test is often short lived once I read the ingredient list. So, as a fan of your website, and remembering that you have fans all around the world, and not just in USA, when you publish a recipe that uses a packet mix, you are sort of limiting your fans from being able to test them for themselves.

  52. Hi Joan, hope you’re feeling better. There will always be something that bugs us now and again. Stumbled across your recipe. Have to admit, wasn’t what I had expected but im glad you’ve posted. My fave cookie recipie of all time came from a pack of chocolate chips. I have a confession too. I’m a first generation Chinese Canadian. Until that cookie recipe, I thought as long as it was baked at home, it’s considered “made from scratched”; pilsbury cookie dough, betty crocker cake mix, etc. Even when I started to “bake” as a teenager, I didn’t know you can make crusts with flour and butter at home. And I never would have thought there could be any more steps to making a “real” Graham cracker crust than adding butter and sugar to a box of graham cracker crumbs. I only found out last year you can make crackers at home. Blew my mind. Anyways, what im saying is you’re right. Nothing wrong with just adding eggs to a box of mixture. Variety is the spice of like and good cake is good cake no matter how many “pure” ingredients you’ve used. Unless you grow your own wheat and mill it yourself, I don’t think anyone can really judge. Would you have to lay the eggs or milk the cow yourself too? I think the most important thing is that you’ve shared. There are plenty of sites out there. If they don’t like it.. they can move on. Keep up your good work.


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